Northampton boss Ian Sampson will give John Johnson as much time as possible to prove his fitness for the visit of Bradford as his men return to league action after dumping Liverpool out of the Carling Cup.

The former Middlesbrough utility man took a knock in the final few minutes of the midweek shock at Anfield and had to be replaced.

Nathaniel Wedderburn is on standby after playing the final three minutes against Roy Hodgson's men.

Sampson is unlikely to make too many changes to his team following the unexpected result and that means Ben Tozer will continue at centre-back and Ryan Gilligan will continue in midfield despite needing surgery on an ankle injury.

The Cobblers will continue to be without skipper Craig Hinton and Tadhg Purcell who both have knee injuries, while Dean Beckwith has a thigh strain and Marcus Hall is doubtful with a hamstring problem.

Midfielder Lee Hendrie is hoping to make his first start for Bradford.

The former England international signed a short-term contract with the Bantams last week in time to make his debut off the bench in the home win over Gillingham.

Midfielder Tom Adeyemi, on loan from Norwich, is expected back among the substitutes after missing the last two games with a bruised toe while fellow midfielder David Syers has shaken off a back problem and is also in contention.

Striker Jake Speight was replaced at half-time last week as he struggled with illness but is expected to be fit while manager Peter Taylor must decide whether to start with 6ft 7in defender Luke Oliver up front again in a three-pronged strikeforce alongside Speight and Gareth Evans or Louis Moult.

If Oliver is employed as a forward in the continued absence of James Hanson (hamstring), Steve Williams will partner Shane Duff in central defence.

Skipper Simon Ramsden (calf) and Michael Flynn (hernia) are hoping to return within the next fortnight.

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Topics:
#Internationals
#Dean Beckwith
#Football
#Simon Ramsden
#Steve Williams
#Shane Duff
#Nathaniel Wedderburn
#James Hanson
#Craig Hinton
#John Johnson
#Ryan Gilligan
#Lee Hendrie
#Tom Adeyemi
#Marcus Hall
#Jake Speight
#Ben Tozer
#Luke Oliver
#League Two
#Michael Flynn
#Louis Moult
#Gareth Evans